Indianapolis neighborhoods make "most dangerous" list

Police expect a busy summer fighting crime in Indianapolis.
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Two of the country's most dangerous neighborhoods are located right here in the Circle City.

The neighborhoods in the 46208 and 46205 zip codes near downtown Indianapolis were part of a list compiled by Neighborhood Scout, which ranked areas based on crime rate and population. The survey state a person has a one-in-14 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime.

People who live in the neighborhoods and the police officers who work there have come to know the face of crime.

"You hear gunshots and you hear loud noises," said Cecilia Thurman.

Thurman has lived on the city's near north side in the 46208 zip code for almost 30 years. The proud grandmother says she's not surprised her neighborhood ranks as one of the most dangerous in the country.

That's because she not only sees crime, but she has been a victim of crime herself more than once.

On one occasion, Thurman got up early to catch the city bus to work. A man walked toward the bus stop and she never gave it a second thought until the unthinkable happened to her.

"This guy walks up and I am thinking he is catching the bus and I look around and turn and he has a gun at my head and I'm thinking, 'Okay'," she said.

According to the Neighborhood Scout study, Indianapolis ranks 60th in the nation for the most dangerous neighborhoods overall.

Local ministers in Indianapolis joined forces with police to announce April as "Non-Violence Month." Several local churches even posted it on their marquees. Still, police officers working in the 46208 area expect a busy summer for fighting crime.

Thurman says there has been major improvements to her neighborhood, like the Children's Museum, where thousands of parents bring their children every year.

She says the museum even works with people who live with children and grandchildren in the neighborhood, offering incentives for them to visit as part of its community reinvestment act.

Christina Lewis and her son are regular visitors to the museum. She says the location doesn't scare her away.

"We even park several blocks away on one of the neighborhood streets," Lewis said. "Looking around, it's so congested, I don't feel unsafe walking to the museum."

"When that Children's Museum is full, they park almost down to Capitol, so they are all over the place and they spruce up the neighborhood and make it a better place," Thurman said.

After so many years in the neighborhood, Thurman says dangerous or not, it is her home sweet home.

Metro police say the one sure way to fight crime in any neighborhood is to report it. You may soon hear the "See Something, Say Something" national campaign used locally to help fight crime at the neighborhood level.